OPINION

Spoilsports

Considerate people these Europeans. They may offend you «in the line of duty» but afterward they will find some way of talking you round, fudging their words so that you are not left completely exposed and vulnerable. Let us take as an example the behavior of European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes toward Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis regarding the controversial issue of our state deficit and debt. Just when you think you have managed to get away with covering up the extent of the problem, someone comes along with an international report and spoils everything, striking you exactly where it hurts the most! Bank of Greece Governor Nicholas Garganas spoilt things for Christodoulakis just as the minister – wounded by the EU’s «interpretations» of the state of Greece’s economy – was beginning to pull himself together again. In the «intermediate report» he submitted to Parliament on Tuesday, Garganas observes that if the economy were functioning normally, public debt would be below three percentage points, that fiscal policy has slackened and that inflation is still high because a lack of any market changes has resulted in the formation of oligopolies. In other words, Garganas is disputing accounts presented by the government, and notes an increase in state spending – echoing the position of the European Commission and the political opposition in Greece…